Flower girl, ring bearer later marry and celebrate 43 years together

Flower girl, ring bearer later marry and celebrate 43 years together
(Source: Johnne Griffin)
(Source: Johnne Griffin)

COMMERCE, MO (KFVS) - From flower girl and ring bearer to man and wife.

You may remember this story of a recent newlywed couple that went viral.

But turns out, they aren't alone.

A couple from Commerce, Missouri first walked down the aisle at five years old and have now been married 43 years.

Jim Griffin admittedly doesn't remember much about the first time he met his future wife, Johnne.

But she does.

"He was the ring bearer and I was the flower girl," said Johnne Griffin. "And first time I met him was when we had to walk up the aisle together dropping the petals."

She recalls the little details, "my mother made the dress," to the story that now makes them so unique.

"During the recessional we walked out and we were supposed to hold hands and we didn't want to," Johnne said. "And I grabbed his hand and I said I'm gonna marry you. And he said no you're not. I'm gonna tell my mom."

Turns out she was right.

Johnne and Jim reconnected in middle school when he transferred from Cape Girardeau to Scott City.

While he may not remember their first meeting, he sure can't forget their second.

"Momma said how was your day at school son? And I said Oh momma I met the prettiest little brown eyed girl," Jim recalled.

That brown-eyed girl eventually became the love of his life.

"We had a small wedding with family," said Johnne. "In the same church and the same preacher."

After 43 years, four children and eight grandkids, their life is simple and serene.

"That all comes from the Lord," said Jim. "If you realize that and take that right into your family and live that way then he will help you get through the hard times."

They admit it hasn't always been easy, but have advice for young couples just starting out.

"Don't give up. You know if you loved them enough to make a commitment, you don't take the commitment lightly. If you loved them enough to make the commitment, work on it. Keep it going. It'll be worth it in the long run 'cause it just grows and gets better," Johnne said.

They're proof of that by appreciating every small gesture.

"I have never got up in the morning, regardless of what time it was, that she didn't cook my breakfast," Jim said. "Many mornings I was up at 3 o'clock. She cooked and fed me."

And the proclamations of continued love written from the heart.

"It's been 43 years. Each one's been better than the last. Whether a week, a month or 43 more. I promise to love you like that," read Jim.

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